L The List
- 1There are a million reasons why milk tops the list. I'm not even going to go into the horror of factory farming - and even if I were to, so many of the government certified Organic diary producers don't allow their cows into anything resembling a pasture. The number one reason to buy organic milk is the hormones and antibiotics. While there has been a huge negative reaction to the introduction of rBGH to American Dairy farmers by Monsanto in 1994, it still remains in any milk carton not labeled "No rBGH". This growth hormone, which increases milk production but is horribly destructive to the cows it is fed to, contains IGF-1, an insulin-like growth factor. Excess levels of IGF-1 have been increasingly linked to cancer development.
On the other side, milk that comes from cows fed on grass and pasture is high in Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs). These are important fats that have been linked to decreased heart disease and diabetes. Dairy from certified organic farms has not been fed with pesticide-soaked corns and grains, although the goverment certification still allows genetically modified feed and protein additives... meat additives - which are wholly unhealthy for ruminants like cows.
- 2If you have kids, and even if you don't, odds are seriously high that you have ketchup in your fridge right now.
75% of all tomato consumption in the US is in the form of processed tomatoes (which is kind of sad, because tomatoes are the best). Ketchup only needs to contain little more than some tomato and some flavoring.. and yet if you read the bottle label, you will see a lot of other things written there. Thinking about how much processed food damages both the environment and our bodies, just switching to organic on ketchup alone is a big deal. Plus, recent research has shown that organic ketchup has DOUBLE the anti-oxidants of conventional ketcup. And it's not that much more of a cost.
- 3This is another big one if you have kids. How much peanut butter do my kids go through in any given month? Since they only eat peanut butter and jelly (or honey) sandwiches in their packed school lunch (they hate deli meat for some unholy reason) that's at the LEAST, 5 sandwiches x 4weeks. That's 20 doses of peanut butter per kid PLUS the amount my husband consumes.
We buy organic because non-organic peanut butters are high in pesticides and fungus and contain aflatoxin, a potential carcinogen. The non-organic kinds are also full of tons of other garbage to make them that plasticine smooth texture, and also to make them sweeter. Yes, you have to stir that layer of peanuty oil into your peanut butter yourself like some kind of chump when you buy organic... but you are stuffing considerably less poison into your body. So... worth it? Hell yeah. Anything your family eats a LOT of -- and I bet most of yours eat a lot, too -- is worth switching to organic for.
- 4Oh, the potato. You delicious thing, you. These root veggies are a staple of the American diet, for sure. Up to 30% of our veg consumption! This is one of those things that switching to organic on can have a huge impact. Conventionally grown potatoes are some of the most pesticide contaminated veggies. Even after being peeled and washed, these babies are still soaked in pesticides. Buy organic on this one, and you get some of the biggest bang for your extra bucks.
- 5After bananas, apples are the most commonly eaten fresh fruit. They are also soaked in just as much pesticide as potatoes. Buy organic apples and apple-products, they taste better and won't poison you. Even better if you can find locally grown apples... less carbon footprint, which is something that all Organics still have a long way to go on.
- 6Honorable mention.
True that many Organic chicken growers "claim" that their chickens have access to the outdoors ... but these are still chickens living in intolerable situations, and since organic chickens are not fed antibiotics to combat their desperately unhealthy living conditions, the growers are terrified to let them outside until the last few weeks of their lives. But just think for a moment... these chickens may only have a few more square inches of space to move in, but they do not have their beaks blow-torched off, nor are they packed so tightly together that they can barely move. Add in the lack of antibiotics and, often, the lack of being fed their own species - ground up into their feed to help fatten them - and you have a chicken that is one step closer to being something you might actually not feel as terrible paying for. Deny Tyson your hard-earned dollars... its possible they might one day try to change their hideous factories to get those bucks back. Plus, every chicken you don't buy from the Factory Farm is less pesticide dumped into rivers, less chemicals and drugs you are ingesting, and a slightly less black mark on your conscience.
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